Next summer’s book is due. Like, now. But life was closing in on me. So I ran away. This time I went to the mountains of North Carolina, to my friend Richard and Beth’s house. I left home on Sunday. Remember the cruise of the Good Ship Minnow? A three-hour tour? Mapquest said my trip would take five hours, fifty minutes. Hah! They forgot to figure in junkin’ time. I’d been wanting to check out a junk honey hole called , The Depot at Gibson Mill in Concord NC. No matter that it would take me 45 miles out of my route. The depot was fabulous! An old Cannon textile mill given over completely to junk/antiques! I gave myself an hour to shop and only hit a small portion of the building. Still, I managed to drop some bucks–all in the name of my booth at Seaside Sisters. My favorite find was this lovely quilt made of old feed sacks, with a backing of mattress ticking.
No fancy quilting, it’s a utility quilt made with a fine eye for color and composition. I posted pix on Facebook and a couple of alert readers told me it’s the string pattern. As I pulled away from the depot, I wanted to pull an Arnold Swarzenegger and whisper, “I’ll be back.” Instead, I steered toward my true destination. After a quick grocery stop, I easily found the mountain house. Which is delightful. Tucked away outside a tiny town in the northwest corner of the state, it’s a crazy combination of masculine/mountain with French country. The scenery near the house is lovely. A closed-down country store, an alluring barn/garage, the most adorable carpenter gothic house, nestled into the valley with the green hazy mountains looming behind.
Makes me wish I were a real photographer. Beth is my sister from another mother. We met just as I was moving back to Atlanta after a three-year stay in Raleigh. She loves antiques–of course, she loves the very fine, expensive, French and English real, true antiques, which she sells through her business, Knick-Knack Paddywack. I love that stuff too, I just can’t really afford it. She loves to travel–I love to travel. She loves going to the theatre, I love the theatre. She has an master’s in English lit, I do not, but I’ve been known to write. And most importantly, she drinks Diet Coke for breakfast. She completes me. We’ve done junking trips to Europe and a couple to Brimfield, and I expect we’ll try to fit another trip in sometime soon. After I finish this next friggin’ book. In the meantime, I’ve been puzzling out the big problems of TFB. But today, I needed a break. I told myself I was going to town for groceries. But really, I needed to junk. I found an antique mall with a trio of good ol’ boys settin’ around talking about cars, and cruised into the windy maze of booths.
The clock was ticking–again, I’d only given myself an hour. As always, I had to wade through a lot of true junk–meaning anything I don’t like or collect or buy or sell. Repro tin gas station signs. Precious Moment figurines. Coins. Weapons. Nascar shite. (It’s North Carolina) ’80s crap-ola. Finally, I found a booth where they were singing my song. A sweet chippy white child’s bentwood chair.
A toy stove.
An old wood grocery crate turned into a toolbox. I went to pay and found a huge painted white rotary fan at the cash register. Ka-ching! After I got back to the house, I went back to work. I’d had a late lunch, so I only stopped to eat at dusk. And to take pix of my finds for you. Even in the mountains, it’s hot. This house doesn’t have air conditioning, and in the mornings and evenings, it’s cool enough that it doesn’t need it. But in late afternoon, it gets a little toasty. I plugged in my new fan, and it works like a dream.
I considered cooking, but it was too hot. Instead, I sliced up an heirloom tomato I bought in town, drizzled it with a little olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar, and washed it down with my favorite wine of the summer, a yummy rose Mr. MKA buys for me. It’s called Angel’s Whisper. Sounds like a book title, yes?